Corel CorelDRAW Essentials 2.0

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Corel CorelDRAW Essentials 2.0

Bottom Line

Essentials is a powerful and highly configurable all-in-one graphics package. Photo editing and management are a snap with this well-priced graphics suite.

Would you buy this?

The latest version of CorelDRAW Essentials includes CorelDRAW, PhotoBook, Photo-Album and the Quickstart Manager.

Photobook is designed for retouching and editing photos and the PhotoAlbum is best used for the organisation and sharing of photos. The Quickstart Manager is a great tool for easy access to the applications; special projects or templates can be opened quickly with minimal fuss. First-time users need not feel left out, for an included training CD-ROM by Lynda Weinman (www.lynda.com) contains video clip tutorials and is a great introductory tool.

Missing that special something? CorelDRAW Essentials 2.0 also includes two Hemera CD-ROMs containing 100,000 clip art images. It also supports approximately 250 templates and 500 TrueType fonts.

CorelDRAW Essentials 2.0 is ideal for the home user or just anyone wishing to have more control over their digital photography. With more than just basic controls, Essentials presents some advanced options such as photo stitching, vector shapes support and CD burning support for archiving (see here for a screenshot).

Price is also a major factor in the buying decision and the current slew of graphics packages offer a trade-off between price and features. Microsoft's $269 Digital Image Suite, reviewed on page 29 this month, is con-siderably more costly than Essentials but offers more advanced options. Adobe's $159 Photoshop Elements 2 is less expensive but it provides less value for money, there being fewer tools and options.

Essentials is a cost-effective and well-rounded package to suit users with different levels of expertise.

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